Gay Widower Shares Heartbreaking Story Of Why He's Suing Alabama

Gay Widower Shares Heartbreaking Story Of Why He's Suing Alabama

No story breaks the heart quite like one about love.

In a conversation with HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill about whether Alabama is falling behind in the nationwide fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, the story took a more personal turn.

Paul Hard, an associate professor and department counselor at Auburn University, opened up about how he was denied access to his husband's hospital room after he was killed in a car accident. Hard said he "had to stand and plead to be allowed into his room" but was forbidden because of Alabama's ban on gay marriage.

"The nurse that I saw in the emergency room that said, 'I’m sorry, but I can't let you see David,' apologetically and very tearfully later on said, ‘I’m sorry. I would have let you in if I could,'" Hard said. "This law makes unwilling accomplices of decent people."

The "final straw," however, was when Hard found out that his husband's death certificate read "never married." Even though the couple had legally wed in Massachusetts, Alabama did not recognize the marriage or grant Hard any legal standing over his partner's will. Hard is now suing Alabama to challenge the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

He added that the more personal the fight of LGBT rights becomes, the more likely change is to happen.

"Very often folks here in Alabama say, 'You know, I voted for that law, but I would never have put you through what you’ve gone through,' Hard said. "It's one thing ... as a matter of my personal principal to stand up for traditional marriage, however that's understood to be. But when [opponents] start seeing the human toll that takes on people and how that affects other human beings, I’ve seen people back up from that."

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Washington, D.C., June 26, 2013

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